This profoundly beautiful story traces the changes in a middle-aged couple's lives after the husband sustains a traumatic brain injury... because he cannot remember his life before, his wife Abigail (author and narrator) reaches across and joins him in his new world. Following her husband's accident (he was tragically hit by a car while out walking the dog), Abigail begins to live alone with their dogs while her husband lives in an assisted living facility where she visits him frequently.
Rather than retrace the story from the point of the accident, the book meanders across time, events, and locations in a way that feels natural and sincere. The story's progression reminded me of how one's thoughts wander during the grieving process, and how a single seemingly unrelated thought will remind one of cherished memories of an event that occurred "before." This is a love story in the truest sense in the way that Abigail's life before is irretrievably lost: She must summon the strength both to rebuild her own life and to be a source of strength to her husband.
Although Abigail's tone is light and matter of fact during most of the book, there were passages I found so moving that I teared up. Having had a loved one who experienced traumatic brain injury, the conversations Abigail describes with her husband felt familiar, as did her kindness in not correcting her husband when he thought they were on vacation when just driving around town or any other number of ways. She showed her love by reaching across and allowing her husband to be who he'd become after the accident, rather than reminding him of what he (and she) had lost.
I found this book intensely moving. There is no "eureka" moment of enlightenment, but rather the day-to-day experience of accepting life and loved ones for what they are rather than what could be. Highly recommended.
I used to journal every day as a way to savor the good and to transform the not so good. I picked up the audible.com version of Writing Down Your Soul to help remind me of the value of journaling, and found it very effective. There are some elements of the book that didn't resonate for me but like other reviewers, I recommend ignoring the elements that don't work for you and mining the gems that are useful. About halfway through the book, the author provides a long list of questions one can ask him/herself to trigger writing during a journaling session -- this list of questions is comprehensive and worth the price of the book alone.
Disclosure: I received this audiobook from the author in return for a candid review.
Beatrix Rose is a former covert British agent on a mission. And although it's a personal mission, she pursues it with single-minded professionalism. I normally tend to avoid spy novels with female leads because they're all too often the spy version of a "Bond girl" but Beatrix Rose is different. She's smart and level-headed, the kind of person who lives down the block or whose child goes to school with yours. There is an element to her circumstance that creates additional urgency for her to complete her mission, and it ratchets up the story's suspense level. This is an interesting, compelling story and Mark Deakins' narration is pitch perfect -- not too dramatic nor too flat. He really brought the story to life for me.
When the sequel to Blood Moon Rising is released, I'll be picking up a copy to catch up on Beatrix's next adventure. Highly recommend Blood Moon Rising to spy thriller and suspense fans.
A classic in the same vein as "Go the F--- to Sleep." Oh, how I love these audiobooks! As I listened to "You have to F---ing Eat," I couldn't help but picture Bryan Cranston as Heidelberg trying to get a small child to eat. That, in itself, made me chuckle... a great listen!
Suspenseful story with enough plot twists to keep most mystery fans interested. I listened to the audible version of this novel and found the narration to be well done.
Isaacson's THE INNOVATORS is a series of inspiring stories about technologists and their innovations. The stories are woven together to give the book a cohesive flow and it reads like a novel. For technology fans, some of the stories won't be new... but the way the stories are told and juxtaposed with other innovators' achievements makes this book unique. These are geeks' stories told lovingly by someone who clearly respects them and what they've done. I listened to the audible.com version of this book and found the narration well-done. I highly recommend this book to those interested in technology or innovation.
Oh, I loved this audiobook... a great combination of interesting (and sometimes strange) science facts and xkcd-flavored humor. My only complaint: It ended too soon. Highly recommended.
Until I listened to "What I Talk About When I Talk About Running," Stephen King's "On Writing" was my favorite nonfiction memoir-like book by a novelist. Both books are a rare treat, peeling back the veil on the novelist's mind to reveal something of their daily life and motivation for writing. While a significant portion of Murakami's book is indeed focused on running and his thoughts during his runs (which are usually quite philosophical), he also shares experiences from his stay in Cambridge MA, his earlier career as a tavern owner, his search for a swim coach, and how he runs in order to do his "day job" more effectively. I found this book absolutely fascinating and like King's "On Writing," it gave me a greater appreciation for Murakami as a writer. Highly recommended.
Disclosure: I received this audiobook in return for an honest review
Take one professional sports star, a cheating wife, an old school cop, an ambitious district attorney, a late night shooting and what do you get? Those characters and that scenario form the foundation of R. C. O'Leary's Hallways in the Night. Just when you think you know what happened, the story unfolds yet again and you realize everything you thought was true and certain, wasn't. What initially seems straightforward is later found to be multi-faceted and complex. I wasn't sure how the story would end and didn't want to put it down. The narration adds wonderful nuance and ambience to the story. I was impressed by the variety of accents voiced by Mr. Cohen and their authenticity. This was a very interesting listen and I recommend it anyone who enjoys crime / legal thrillers.
A very interesting read about that familiar yet alien place within our bodies: The alimentary canal. Mary Roach examines the alimentary canal from food intake to, well, output. Ms. Roach writes like she's sharing a story with a friend, and I found this to be a fascinating listen. One warning: You may not want to listen to this book (about what happens to your food) while eating... my reaction to some facts was a combination of wow, interesting and ew, gross! Recommended.
Disclosure: I received this audiobook from the editor/narrator in return for an honest review
This fascinating book follows H.G. Selfridge's ascent from a low-level Marshall Fields employee in Chicago, to managing partner, to owner of Selfridges Department Stores in the U.K. While the establishment of Selfridges Department Store was heralded by at least one U.K. newspaper as "The American Invasion," Selfridge sought to ensure that his store never misled customers in order to make a sale and helped lead the way for equal employment by hiring women when men were called to serve in World War I and then pronouncing that, in many cases, women performed the jobs even more effectively than their male predecessors.
I was originally interested in this book because I find Mr. Selfridge a compelling character. However, as I listened, I realized this compilation of articles provides a unique and educational history of business in the early 1900s, and that H. G. Selfridge was as much an innovator in the world of business as Google is today. This isn't a long audiobook but is a fascinating peek into business and historical events that helped shape modern retailing and advertising. Highly recommended.
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